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Robert E Kelly @Robert_E_Kelly
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Thoughts on Moon’s meeting with Trump tomorrow: 1) It increasingly looks like the Moon administration overstated North Korea’s willingness to deal. Moon will probably get an earful over that.
2a) Moon likely exaggerated this to tie Trump to a diplomatic track to prevent him from backsliding into last year’s war-threats which scared the daylights out of South Koreans. If Trump were less vain and had allowed his national security staff to vet the NK offer, he might have
2b) learned this. But instead, he accepted the NK summit offer 45 minutes after he was told of it, without even telling the White House staff, and then drank his own kool-aid watching Fox telling him for weeks that he deserved a Nobel. Now comes the hang-over.
3) Flattering Trump into diplomacy is likely also why Moon’s government credited Trump with driving NK to negotiation through maximum pressure and suggested that Trump receive a Nobel peace prize.
4) It is an open secret in Korea that this was just flattering Trump to prevent him from starting a war. No one actually believes it. My students & colleagues laugh at the suggestion. No one thought the western media wd actually start seriously debating it. Trump is loathed here.
5a) The problem, of course, is that none of this Trump-whispering is true: NK is not going to denuclearize; NK was not driven to negotiate by maximum pressure (they chose to negotiate, because they established nuclear deterrence with the US mainland); and Trump does not deserve a
5b) Nobel, because, well, I am pretty sure that threatening national genocide at the United Nations – ‘totally destroy North Korea’ – is a disqualifier.
6a) The great irony, which US conservative media will never admit of course, is that Trump actually drove SK to the table, not NK. Trump scared SKs so much last year, that Moon’s approval rating has shot up into the 80s%, even though he won with just 41% a year ago, and approval
6b) of the summit process is in the 90s%. So if you are a NK hawk, Trump's rhetoric last year made things worse, not better, by scaring up a dovish consensus for Moon to make concessions and keep Trump at bay.
7a) At this point, the best thing to do would be to postpone the summit until greater common ground among the 3 players can be found and let experts on the issues hammer out some consensus. But Moon likely opposes that because any delay could open political space for Bolton, and
Trump likely desperately wants this summit for the TV, attn, & a political 'win' he can market at home to change the story f/ his scandals & blunt a looming blue wave. So the summit will prolly still happen, even tho, scarily, w/ 3 weeks to go, no1 really knows how it will unfold
This tweet storm went viral, so here is some follow-up to various responses and criticisms. Thank you for reading my stuff:
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